Here we go again... for the third time.

Here we go again with the Talking Heads song, Once In A Lifetime. "And you may ask yourself, Well... how did I get here?"

After 2 years in Nashville with no involvement in Young Life, I started praying for the Lord to provide an opportunity for me to get back into the world of YL. Within the next 2 weeks, he answered that prayer in a big way! (You can read about THAT, right here.)
One of the biggest things the Lord did, when he punted me back into Young Life, was putting me on a summer assignment, even though I'm not on staff! That happened something like this...

March 10, 2016 - Lindsay Hancock texts me and says, “When do you get out of school for the summer?” She proceeds to tell me that there are some work crew boss openings on their assignment at Southwind that summer, but she’ll check specifics and get back to me.
March 16, 2016 - My friends Terri texts me and asks if I want to have an assignment at Southwind during session 1, my name was suggested by Bryan Hancock. I immediately say “YES!” and text Lindsay a screenshot of the conversation - “OMG this happened today!!”
March 18, 2016 - I am officially on this assignment and I get a string of emails from our camp director.
April 5-7, 2016 - Assigned Team training. Holy junk this is happening.
May 20, 2016 - School is over, I have a teacher work day. I rush home from school, throw my bags in an
Servers taking a much needed break from the dining hall!
Southwind - Session 1 (2016)
UBER, and head to the airport. I’m headed to Florida for a month!
While I was at Southwind I said several times that I had felt more myself in the few weeks I was there, than I had in years. During the last few days, I made that comment during “chalk talk” one morning. Long story short, a guy on property staff had said something to me the night before that was along the lines of, “I think you need to quit teaching. You should be on Young Life staff, and it should be in Florida.” I laughed it off and teased him about being on the recruiting committee. The next afternoon, I was walking by and he stopped me and said, “Hey I heard what you said this morning.” I literally just looked at him and said, “Huh?!” He said, “You know, that stuff about feeling like your real self this summer. Here. In Florida. At Young Life camp. I’m just saying you need to think about going on staff here in the Florida region.” Fast forward to that night, I’m sitting in the empty dining hall with Debbie - our camp director - crying and recapping my conversation with Reid, and I don’t know why I’m crying. She says, “Mary Clyde, I think the Lord is speaking to you and he’s doing it through Reid.” We left camp a couple of days later and I’m thinking, “Holy junk, do I need to pursue going on Young Life staff?”
Well, I really started praying about it. I had thought about it briefly from time to time since college, but had shrugged off the idea almost as quickly as I started thinking about it. This time felt different though. I knew I was coming off of a "mountain top" experience, and I didn't want to just jump into something just because I had a great time working at camp that summer. So I prayed about it, and didn't do much else. Toward the end of the summer, I realized that the desire to pursue going on Young Life staff wasn't going away. In the past, when I thought about going on staff, I always thought about it in terms of North Carolina. That never felt like the right thing, so I just brushed it off and kept going. This time, not only did the desire to be on staff stick around, but the idea of applying to the Florida region wouldn't go away either. I contacted my friend Eve who lives here in Nashville, just to get her opinion/advice on the idea. She told me that she is friends with Frank, the YL Florida Regional Director, and would introduce us via email. A few days later, she sent an email to both of us, and I responded just saying hi to Frank and that I would love to talk with him sometime about maybe going on staff in Florida.
Southwind friends at a Braves Spring Training game!
During the course of this school year, Frank and I talked a handful of times and, eventually, I filled out my application for staff. In March, he said that he would love for me to come down to Orlando and interview with the Florida Region. I ended up going down for a long weekend and got to hang out with Brittany and some Southwind friends. You can read about that here. That Monday, Brittany and I had breakfast and she dropped me off at my interview. (I felt like it was a disaster, but I'll tell you that story another time.) Later that week, I got a call from Frank and he said they'd affirmed me for YL staff in the Florida Region and that I'd hear back from him in a couple of weeks about where they wanted to place me! It didn't quite feel real yet because I didn't know where I was going, but I was one step closer to being on staff! As Lindsay said when I called her to tell her, "We've been dreaming of this for so long!"
At one point, Frank mentioned Jacksonville in our conversation and for some reason, I latched onto the idea of that city and really began to pray that the Lord would send me there. When I did hear back from Frank, he told me that they thought the Central Jacksonville area would be a great fit for me, and that I'd hear from someone in the area soon to set up a time for me to go down for an area interview. 2 weeks later, I found myself on an airplane on a Tuesday morning heading to Jacksonville, just liked I'd prayed! I was only there for about 36 hours, but I loved it. Everyone that I met was so friendly and made me feel so welcome! I knew I'd be visiting some of the high schools in the area and meeting with various committee members, and I fully expected to be totally overwhelmed, but it was just the opposite! It felt almost too easy - so natural and definitely like the right place for me! I got back from Jacksonville that Wednesday and on Thursday, the metro director, David, called to tell me that the board (committee) had voted that night and it was unanimous! They wanted me to move to Jacksonville!
Y'all! I can't believe it!! I'm setting off, AGAIN, for a new start, in a new city. (City 1 and City 2) Only this time, I'm starting a new career as well. Starting in August, I'm going to be doing Young Life at 2 of the big private schools in the area and I am so excited!!


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